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Did Murdoch's The Australian Misrepresent IPCC Chair Pachauri on Global Warming?

Posted on 25 February 2013 by dana1981

As we have discussed many times at Skeptical Science, although the warming of global surface air temperatures has slowed over the past decade due to a preponderance of La Niña events, the rate of heat accumulation on Earth has not slowed at all.  In fact over the past 15 years, the planet has accumulated more heat than during the previous 15 years (Figure 1).  That's global warming.

Fig 1

Figure 1: Land, atmosphere, and ice heating (red), 0-700 meter OHC increase (light blue), 700-2,000 meter OHC increase (dark blue).  From Nuccitelli et al. (2012).

Unfortunately many people (often even including climate scientists) mistakenly equate the warming of global surface air  temperatures with global warming.  That is simply inaccurate.  Approximately 90% of global warming goes into heating the oceans (Figure 2).

heat going

Figure 2: A visual depiction of how much global warming heat is going into the various components of the climate system for the period 1993 to 2003, calculated from IPCC AR4

So the reality is that global warming continues unabated.  Despite this reality, an article by Graham Lloyd in The Australian (paywalled) claims that the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri agreed that there has been a 17-year pause in global temperature rises.  Unfortunately we don't know exactly what Pachauri said on the subject, because Lloyd did not quote him directly (which is a red flag). 

The IPCC communications office tells Skeptical Science that The Australian has not provided a transcript or audio file of the interview for verification, but it does not accurately represent Pachauri's thoughts on the subject - namely that as discussed in this post, global surface temperatures have plateaued (though over the past decade, not 17 years), and that this in no way disproves global warming.

Despite the lack of useful verifiable content, the story headline has nevertheless gone viralThis is not the first time Lloyd has been caught misrepresenting climate science in The Australian - in January of this 2013 he wrongly claimed that a study had found no link between global warming and sea level rise.  Oceanographer John Church, who was co-author on the misrepresented research in question and also Nuccitelli et al. (2012) from which Figure 1 above originated, set the record straight, and The Australian was forced to retract the article.

Here are the relevant passages from Lloyd's latest piece:

THE UN's climate change chief, Rajendra Pachauri, has acknowledged a 17-year pause in global temperature rises


Unlike in Britain, there has been little publicity in Australia given to recent acknowledgment by peak climate-science bodies in Britain and the US of what has been a 17-year pause in global warming. Britain's Met Office has revised down its forecast for a global temperature rise, predicting no further increase to 2017, which would extend the pause to 21 years.

Dr Pachauri said global average temperatures had plateaued at record levels and that the halt did not disprove global warming.

"The climate is changing because of natural factors and the impact of human actions," Dr Pachauri said.

The claim about the "peak climate-science bodies" undoubtedly refers to another misleading newspaper article wrongly claiming that global warming stopped by the Mail's David Rose, and Lloyd's comment about the Met Office prediction is also inaccurate.  Ultimately the only statement the Australian article attributes to Pachauri on this subject is that "global average temperatures had plateaued at record levels and that the halt did not disprove global warming."

Again note that the story is paraphrasing Pachauri rather than quoting him directly.  Had he said that global surface air  temperatures have plateaued and that this doesn't disprove global warming, he would be 100% correct.  Though it's also worth noting that over the past 17 years, the global surface temperature trend is approximately 0.10 ± 0.13°C per decade, which is most likely positive (warming).

More importantly, over the past 17 years the planet has accumulated the equivalent energy to detonating 3.7 Hiroshima atomic bombs per second, every second.  It takes a fundamental misundertanding of the global climate to deny that immense amount of global warming.

As long as humans continue to increase the greenhouse effect by adding more and more CO2 to the atmosphere, global warming will continue.  That is a physical reality that cannot be changed by misstatements or misquotes or misrepresentations or denial.  Global warming will not stop until we do something to stop it.

To hear what Pachauri actually thinks about global warming without first passing through The Australian's filter, you can listen to interviews with him on Radio Australia and ABC News.  Also see a similar debunking of this myth by The Australian Climate Commission.

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Comments 51 to 100 out of 102:

  1. #48 Phillippe Chantrelle. Unlike your ad hom comment directed at me, my last one was directly relevant to the post.

    So if the SkS postion is that there is no "pause" in warming by any definition, then these questions arise.

    (1) Was Pachauri misrepresented by The Australian?

    (2) Was he badly briefed?

    (3) Does he actually hold the views as presented, and if so why?

    (4) Is he playing a political game to make the sceptic arguments sound irrelevant?

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  2. AndyS (not Andy S) said... "...does SkS accept that there has been no warming of land temps for the last 15 years or so?"

    "Land temps?"  I think you're actually looking to ask about surface temps because land only temps are certainly greater than surface temp alone.

    What is continually missed in the "temps have plateaued" argument is, this is yet another discussion about statistical significance.  Temps have risen, but the observed trend doesn't rise to the 95% confidence level.  That means that there is a chance the trend may be an element of noise in the data.

    So, if you think about it for just a short moment, there is also a likelihood that the observed trend is actually higher rather than lower than the observed trend.  But (fake) skeptics tend to ignore this fact.

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  3. Yes I did mean surface temps, thanks for the clarification. I am not really querying the technical details. I do accept the relatively short time scale and large error bars. What I am querying is the message presented to the public. Not just Pachauri, but also James Hansen in the "state of temps" report he did recently where there was some reference to pause or hiatus (can't remember the exact details).See #51 for my actual questions

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  4. AndyS...  If you look at the animated GIF near the top of the right-hand column of this page you'll see "The Esculator."  

    The surface temperature record is a noisy data set.  We expect to see periods that are level in a rising trend.  What you might take note of is, the observed trend of the past 15, 16, 17, whatever number of years is not negative.  You don't see temps falling anything close to what the have risen in recent decades.

    The other thing you should note is that the radiative forcing from increased GHG's continued to rise.  No one can expect that we can continue to increase radiative forcing and anything but warming, in spite of its stocatic behavior of the surface temperature record, to continue.  

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  5. Yes I am familiar with The Escalator. I am not getting involved in a discussion of whether there is actually a pause or not. See #51

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  6. If I'm not mistaken, Pachauri wasn't even actually quoted.  The reporter merely stated that Pachauri made the statement without providing an actual quote, nor providing a reference to where or when he was supposed to have made such a statement.

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  7. As I posted a while back on this thread, you could just ask him.

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  8. I'm sure he's been made aware of the whole issue.  He's a very busy guy with a very important position.  I'd venture to guess this is too small an issue for him to even bother responding.  The facts about global climate change do not hinge on the misrepresentations of a single reporter.

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  9. I think this thread might be hitting its recursion limit.

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  10. AndyS

    1. Was Pachauri misrepresented by The Australian? - Apparently so. He certainly doesn't agree with their presentation, and the Australian lacks direct quoting in the critical sections. Shame on The Australian.
    2. Was he badly briefed? - Don't know, don't care. Misrepresenting an interview is the fault of the journalist
    3. Does he actually hold the views as presented, and if so why? - Did you not read the opening post, where it states: "it (the reported interview) does not accurately represent Pachauri's thoughts on the subject"?
    4. Is he playing a political game to make the sceptic arguments sound irrelevant? - No, and that would be silly. The only "gaming" I see (IMO) is folks who are misinterpreting the story. 

    You seem determined to state that Pachauri said something silly, or deceptive, and to claim that warming has halted. I don't believe any of that is justified by the facts...

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  11. AndyS, you asked, "Leaving aside the ocean warming issue, does SkS accept that there has been no warming of land temps for the last 15 years or so?"

    Why ask it if you don't want the details or don't want to get "involved in a discussion"?  That discussion is essential to understanding why Pauchari would not have made the claim that the claimers claimed he claimed. 

    Pauchari, simply by having read AR4 and having the critical thinking capacity necessary to put 2 and 2 together, knows that 1) surface temp is not very representative of the overall system energy accumulation (TOA imbalance), 2) less-than-climate-scale trend periods are interesting but not very meaningful with regards to the basic theory of AGW, and 3) the period in question is especially susceptible to misinterpretation.  That's all no-brainer stuff.  For Pauchari to have simply ignored all that and told the notorious Australian that global warming had paused stretches the bounds of believability.  It's possible he was jet lagged, sick, and on meds, and the claim actually did come out of his mouth, but I kind of doubt it.  If he did say it in full control of his mental faculty, he's a blithering idiot.  It wouldn't be the first time that a scientist opened her/his mouth and said something stupid.  That's why getting one's opinions on science from mainstream media is a Bad Idea (and I recognize that it's the only option most people have, or believe they have).  The science renders The Australian's claim and anything Pauchari might have said meaningless apart from the playing of rhetorical games with the general public.

    What's funny about all of this is that the alleged "hiatus" says exactly the opposite of what "skeptics" think it says.  What it actually says is that in 1997/8 global temp spiked to its highest value in probably several thousand years (the change from 1996 to the 1997/8 peak is about .25C in Had4), and then over the next decade or so it didn't just stay there but rose slightly (also encompassing a value that surpassed 1997/8).  It's like a baseball player hitting, in consecutive years, 32, 33, 37, 35, 40, 45, 39, 42, 47, and 48 home runs, and then the next ten years hitting 70, 73, 45, 60, 65, 62, 60, 75, 62, and 63.  Yah, sure, the trend over those ten years appears to be falling or flat.  Has the player somehow lost his game (or steroids dealer)?  In the middle of the hiatus is the period from 1999 to 2007, which gives a trend of .146C per decade.  The 2000s were the hottest decade in the instrumental period, despite being La Nina-ish and despite the instrumental record low for TSI in the 11-year cycle.  Note that global ice mass loss accelerated during the surface temp "hiatus" period, a fact that Pauchari would be very much aware of.

    And, yes, at your request I'm ignoring the 80,000 ton gorilla in the room (OHC).

    One final thought on significance.  The Rose trend is roughly .038C per decade.  It is, by the common definition of statistical significance, insignificant.  It's also about 9x the rate of PETM event warming.  That's significant.


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  12. AndyS @51 - Unfortunately The Australian still hasn't made the transcript or recording available, so your question is impossible to answer.  However, the most likely answer is #1 (that The Australian misrepresented what Pachauri said), given what the IPCC communications office told me.  That being said, it's possible that he mis-spoke, and hence he isn't making any accusations regarding misrepresentations.  #1 is most likely, but we can't be sure (frankly due to Lloyd's shoddy journalism).

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  13. andyS wrote 'i.e there is a difference between the statement "global warming has stopped" and "there has been no significant change in surface temperature anomaly".'

    Yes, there is a difference, which is that "skeptics" are misusing the concept of statistical significance.  The lack of a statistically significant warming trend does not mean that there has been no warming, just that the observations do not effectively rule out the possibility that there has been no warming. 

    Alternatively, we could ask "has there been a statistically significant change in the rate of warming?", and the answer there would be "no".  However the skeptics never seem to want to discuss that point for some reason.

    The funny thing is that the way that hypothesis testing should be used is to assume the null hypothesis (the thing you do not want to be true) holds and only proceed with your alternative hypothesis if you are able to show that the observations are inconsistent with the null hypothesis.  If you are a "skeptic" and arguing that there has been a plateau, then your null hypothesis should be that there has been no change in the underlying rate of warming.  If you are a "warmist" and aguing that there has been warming (purely on the basis of these observations) then your null hypothesis is that the rate of warming is zero and the onus is on you to reject the null hypothesis.

    The basic idea is one of self-skepticism, you only proceed with your hypothesis if you can show that the opposite of what you are arguing for is inconsistent with the observations.

    The "skeptics" in this case are ironically being utterly unskeptical, by effectively using a null hypothesis which is that their argument is correct, which totally goes against the whole idea of statistical hypothesis testing (unless you also perform a power analysis, which they never do).

    The "warmists" on the other hand, are not basing their argument solely on land temperature observations (mega cherry pick on your part there! ;o); they also have physics, sea surface temperature and ocean heat content as well.

    But if you are just looking at land surface temperatures, then over a period as short as 15 years, the observations don't rule out the existence of a plateau, nor do they rule out warming having continued at the same rate since 1970 or so.

    Hope this helps.

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  14. "that the observations do not effectively rule out the possibility that there has been no warming."

    To emphasise the myopia in the sentiment we so often see:

    "that those observations -when considered outside of the context of all the other observations and physical knowledge we have- do not effectively rule out the possibility that there has been no warming."

    Even trying to deduce whether the world is warming solely from the SAT record is wrong. Not that it seems to stop people.

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  15. AndyS
    I think if you look you will find this is the Hansen report you were a little hazy on. Mind, thereis no actual use of the word "pause" or the word "hiatus."
    But I forget that you are "not getting involved in a discussion of whether there is actually a pause or not."  Ah ha. Now there is a phrase that has much more resonance when spoken with a heavy Troll accent.

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  16. MA Rodger - thanks for the link. You are correct, there is no use of the word pause or hiatus


    The exact phrase was


    Global Warming Standstill.
    The 5 year running mean of global temperature has been flat forthe past decade (on Page 5 under the figure). 
    My accent isn't troll, although I have lived in Norway for a short time.
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  17. AndyS, based on the Hansen paper under discussion, do you believe that Hansen believes that "global warming has stopped"?  Do you believe that he finds the "standstill" in global surface temp in any way meaningful where the theory of anthropogenic global warming is concerned?

    To me, trolls speak a language that is full of unjustified doubt--a language that is meant to provoke a response rather than advance undestanding.  From your posts, I read that you want to establish that scientists have used the terms "standstill" or "hiatus" or "pause" with regards to the surface temp trend.  You want to establish this not for the sake of discussing what it means for climate science (because you quite clearly said that you didn't want to discuss the details), but for some other reason.  What that reason might be must necessarily come from a limited range of possibilities, and one of those possibilities is that you're trolling for bits of text to use as rhetorical weapons designed to confuse the general public.  If you weren't a troll, you'd be focused on the science and whether or not the apparent "standstill" is actually meaningful.  

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  18. AndyS - Reading Hansen in context (which I would strongly recommend), he states:

    ...the standstill has led to a widespread assertion that  "global warming has stopped"


    Indeed, the current stand-still of the 5-year running mean global temperature may be largely a consequence of the fact that the first half of the past 10 years had predominately El Nino conditions, while the second half had predominately La Nina conditions (...).  Comparing the global temperature at the time of the most recent three La Ninas (1999-2000, 2008, and 2011-2012), it is apparent that global temperature has continued to rise between recent years of comparable tropical temperature, indeed, at a rate of warming similar to that of the previous three decades.

    (Emphasis added)

    In other words, Hansen is well aware of the erroneous conclusions 'skeptics' have drawn from recent temperatures, and is correcting them. Again, as with Pachauri, the problem lies in 'skeptical' errors of interpretation and (as seen in the opening post) the misrepresentation of scientists views in certain media outlets. 

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  19. @DSL, I have no idea what Hansen "believes". I read his paper and he specifically uses the phrase "global warming standstill"

    So, for the the general public in general, they might interpret this as "global warming has stoped".

    It is not my problem, it is a problem for the PR side of climate science. If the godfather of global waming, James Hansen, uses a fairly unqualified statement like this, then it is obviously going to be picked up and used as ammunition.


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  20. AndyS: If others misuse Hansen's statements, that is their fault, not Hansen's.

    Please allocate responsibility where it properly belongs.

    (And of course, please see KR's post which quotes Hansen showing that, despite use of the term 'standstill' he indicates surface temps are still rising.)

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  21. AndyS: "I have no idea what Hansen "believes". I read his paper and he specifically uses the phrase "global warming standstill"."

    You're not serious.  Hansen tells you what he believes in that paper.  Did you ignore everything before and after the phrase "global warming standstill"?  That would be an incredibly uncritical thing to do.  I imagine that if the general public read the paper, as unlikely as that might be, many within that group would actually understand what Hansen believes when he says "standstill."

    It is your problem.  If the public is misinformed, you, via the democratic mechanism, suffer from the resulting inefficiencies in responding to reality.  You played your cards when you made a distinction between your problems and the problems of climate science.  That means you don't take climate science seriously, and that supports my claim that you're an uncritical troll and a cause of the problem the general public has with misinformation.  

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  22. Addendum: unless, of course, you can provide reasoning/evidence for not taking climate science seriously.  I think we all eagerly await that discussion, unless you're holding back on us (which would render you unethical and make you responsible for every dollar spent on mitigation/adaptation).

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  23. I do get a bit tired of this endless dissection of what people said or what people believe.

    The fact is, global surface temps have increased around 0.8 degrees since pre-industrial times. Most of that warming occurred in two distinct periods in the 20th C. Surface temps haven't moved much this century, which doesn't mean they won't move again.

    The only discussion  worth having, in my view, is what is the climate system's sensitivity to CO2

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    Moderator Response: [DB] Climate sensitivity is off-topic on this thread.
  24. DSL I like the idea that there is some kind of ethics committee awaiting my announcements and will make me personally responsible for the $45 trillion required for climate change mitigation.

    I have heard some pretty nutty stuff in my time...

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  25. AndyS - Given your statement that: 'I have no idea what Hansen "believes". I read his paper and he specifically uses the phrase "global warming standstill"', it is clear that you have not in fact read his paper. See above

    To clarify (and perhaps summarize) the discussion before you attempt change the topic:

    • Pachauri did not state that global warming has stopped, and in fact believes it is continuing.
    • Pachauri was misinterpreted in The Australian according to his and to IPCC statements.
    • Hansen did not state that global warming has stopped, and in fact believes it is continuing.
    • Your statements indicating that either of these scientists said something incorrect, as opposed to having been badly misinterpreted, are in error

    Any questions?

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  26. AndyS @73...  You're right, CS is at least one of the most important conversations.  But you'd have to move that conversation to a thread where that is being discussed.

    And don't worry, the conversation won't get lost since most of us follow all the threads through the "comments" link in the menu bar.

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  27. Actually, I did read Hansen's paper and commented on it elsewhere, some time ago


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    Moderator Response: [DB] Off topic and abusive usage of html snipped.
  28. AndyS

    "I do get a bit tired of this endless dissection of what people said or what people believe."

    Then why did you repeatedly do it on this thread?

    "The only discussion  worth having, in my view, is what is the climate system's sensitivity to CO2."

    Then why are you still here on this thread?

    Seems you are unaware of what you are saying, whether on purpose or not.

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  29. Guys, there is literally no point in arguing with AndyS. If ever you suggest that he has said something, he will say he has said the opposite. If ever you point out his arguments are unscientific, he will claim that he argued something else. He is not interested in debate, merely in the appearance of debate. Just ban him already, he won't be missed.

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    Moderator Response: [DB] Fixed spelling of AndyS.
  30. I am puzzled by his last comment. I haven't actually made any scientifix claim, nor am I trying too present any argument as such.

     i am merely pointing out the message as I see it portrayed to the outside world.

     since SkS is primarily about getting that message right,as it sees it, then I would have thought this was relevant and constructive, even if we may disagree on certain parts, it might be helpful to get an outside view

     furthermore, though slightly off topic, but on the topic of the Hansen paper, I suggested that investment in a satellite for measurement of aerosol forcing would be a good idea. I sense some frustration in Hansens article. Though I disagree with his mixing of activism with science, I can recognize the true scientist in him in this article

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  31. "I haven't actually made any scientifix claim,"

    This may inadvertantly be the closest that AndyS has ever made to a true statement. Let us assume for the moment that he actually meant "scientific claim", it would certainly be true that Andy's claims are not scientific. For example, saying that the warming trend over the last 16 years = 0, that would definitely not be scientific, Or even scientifix.

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  32. (With due regard to gws @78), this thread has long been dominated by one commentor who has singlehandedly written 25% of the comments. It took over half of these for him to get away from asking particulars of what was actually said or intended to be said by Pachauri (and later Hansen) although now this is long forgotten. The flavour of the moment is comment about "the message" as presented to the world by the media outlet.

    I do consider this rather odd behaviour for one who professes to "...get a bit tired of this endless dissection of what people said or what people believe."  unless the term 'people' is shorthand for 'people other than me'. (Perhaps this is a symptom of some form of solipsism.) In the latest dissection of what 'people' said, there is evidence of a more epistemological approach to the issue. "i am merely pointing out the message as I see it portrayed to the outside world."  It is difficult to assess what stage of the 'merely pointing out' process we have reached so far and how many more thousand words will be required to complete it. Then, does it matter? I would assess that most of the audience on this thread has packed up and gone home long ago.

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  33. I re-read to make sure but indeed there is no ad-hom argument from me in this thread, or any other for that matter. It seems Andy can't be bothered to verify to meaning of "ad-hom" any more than he can properly copy my name. I would advise all to refrain from attempting any exchange with Andy S, as it is proving so far to be a complete waste of time. 

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    Moderator Response: [JH] Point of clarification - the commentor Phillipe is referring to is "AndyS" not "Andy S."
  34. I can't resist. From the Nizkor Project: "An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument."

    Based on the relevant evidence, several of the commenters on this thread have come to the conclusion that you exhibit the behavior of a troll.  Shorthand: you're a troll.  It's not ad hominem to call a person who exhibits the behavior of a dentist a "dentist."  Ad hominem would occur if I used something irrelevant, like the color of your skin, as evidence that you have poor critical thinking skills.  

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  35. (-snip-)

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  36. I have deliberately refrained from commenting before now in order to let the topic run its course (so to speak) however as bill warned some days back the commentator Andy S is not the genuine article, the good that comes out of the following discussions/rebuttals will be helpful to the genuine enquirer, but to Andy S it is just a game. Here are his comments on "Climate Conversation" (sic) a little group of "skeptics" who chat amongst themselves about the latest "climate conspiracy" following the above warning:


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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Respectfully, comments made by SkS participants in other venues are not germane to the topic of this thread and are thus off-topic.

    Thank you for trying to maintain a level of civility in this discussion and to keep others apprised of the off-topic commenting tendencies of some individuals. The moderation staff here is prepared to take any needed action with alacrity and full depth of measure.

  37. You do not need to look for heating in the ocean to look for global warming for the last 17 years. The spurious claims of no warming for 17 years is based on "skeptics" suddenly being made aware of the concept of statistcal significance, while making no attempt to understand it, its uses and abuses and limitations.

    The first rule of statistical significance is that sample size matters.

    "Skeptics" pick short term data sets for which the amount of noise means that no "statistcally significant" statement can be made about warming, colling or pausing. They are setting the data up to fail.

    For the Hadcrut4 data, which is the median of the trends of the 5 major global temperature sets for the last 17 years, the trend is in line with the long term statistically significant trend for 4 times 17 years.

    from 1945.


    Trend: 0.094 ±0.019 °C/decade (2σ)  1945 -

    Trend: 0.091 ±0.120 °C/decade (2σ)  1996-

    If you chop the long trend into 4 concectutive 17 year periods, you get the following trends:

    17yr periods since 1945 Had4


    96-2013  0.091 ±0.120 °C/decade (2σ)

    79 -96     0.119 ±0.116 °C/decade (2σ)

    62 –79   -0.025 ±0.125 °C/decade (2σ)

    45- 62     0.013 ±0.137 °C/decade (2σ)

    Only one of these trends is statistcally significant, and then by the barest margin.

    By chance the last 17 year trend is almost virtually identical to the entire period since 1945. Nevertheless you can chop the data since 1945 into 17 years periods and claim there has been no statistically significant warming since 1945, or you can do the mathematically correct thing and look at the whole data set where the signal to noise is adequate and conclude that it has warmed.

    And I should warn against the tendency to think that Fisherian statistical significance, iwhich declares a range of 95.1% statistically significant but 94.9% not, is holy write or the only game in town

    Recently many scientists have questioned the use of Fisherian statistics prefer to use other measures such as Bayesian analysis, which also has the advantage of  taking into account extra information in its caluations. In the current contest it would ask what is the probability that the data shows warming for the last 17 years given that the data for the previous period back to 1945 shows warming.

    I should also add that Moncton himself is subtly shifting the goal posts, so that the "no warming argument will soon become "not warming as much as the models predict."

    In Monckton's own words:

    "At some point – probably quite soon – an el Niño will come along, and global temperature will rise again. Therefore, it would be prudent for us to concentrate not only on the absence of warming for n years, but also on the growing discrepancy between the longer-run warming rate predicted by the IPCC and the rate that has actually occurred over the past 60 years or so."

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  38. Philip Shehan @88, Monckton's dishonest strategy is already clearly marked out in his very next paragraph:

    "Therefore, it would be prudent for us to concentrate not only on the absence of warming for years, but also on the growing discrepancy between the longer-run warming rate predicted by the IPCC and the rate that has actually occurred over the past 60 years or so.

    Since 1950 the world has warmed at a rate equivalent to little more than 1 Celsius degree per century. Yet the IPCC’s central projection is for almost three times that rate over the present century."

    In fact, the approximately 0.3 C per decade quoted by Monckton is the trend to the end of the 21st century if, contrary to the projections themselves, it is treated as a linear trend.  The IPCC's short term projection for the period 2000 to 2020 is approximately 0.2 C per decade projection for the period.  As they write:

    "Committed climate change (see Box TS.9) due to atmospheric composition in the year 2000 corresponds to a warming trend of about 0.1°C per decade over the next two decades, in the absence of large changes in volcanic or solar forcing. About twice as much warming (0.2°C per decade) would be expected if emissions were to fall within the range of the SRES marker scenarios." 

    That is, in fact, less than double the 0.125 C per decade (+/- 0.02 C/decade) trend since 1950 as measured by GISS.  More precisely, and relative to explicit scenarios, the IPCC predicts that the mean global surface temperature averaged over the years 2011-2030 will be 0.64 C (A2; 0.69 C, A1B; 0.66 C B1) greater than the average over the years 1980-1999.  The twenty years ending December, 2012 averaged 0.21 C greater than the reference period, and we are just over a third of the way to the 2030 end date for the prediction.   Consequently the actual IPCC short term prediction is currently on track for fulfillment. 

    We can, of course also consider the IPCC retrodiction for the years since 1950.  As can be seen, the trend of the IPCC retrodiction (in red) is scaresly distinguishable from that of recorded temperatures (in black):

    Crucially, however, by extending his time period back to 1950, Monckton includes two decades durring which the IPCC retrodicted, and temperatures shows a slight negative trend.  His game is evident.  He wishes to compare years in which the IPCC actually (and accurately) predicted a low overall trend with IPCC "predictions" from an entirely different period, having misrepresented those into the bargain.

    The man is an unabashed shyster.

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  39. Tom Curtis, I hope it is not too much of topic to direct you to my comments #60 and #65 on Mockton's official complaint to the University of Tasmania calling for acadenic Tony Press to be sacked, accusing him of fraud and deception for merely disputing Moncktons argumements. My description of Monckton's conduct uses terms that while entirely correct would probably be struck out here. "Ludicrous" is one should pass muster.

    It's on Jo Nova's blog.


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  40. Actually my above post is not off topic because "Count1" of Monckton's charges concerns Press's alleged fraudulant conduct for merely disputing Monckton on this:

    Count 1

    Press falsely stated: “The argument of ‘no recent warming’ is wrong and has been debunked time and again.”

    Yet just days before Press uttered his false statement The Australian had reported that Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the science working group of the UN’s climate panel, the IPCC, had admitted that the U.K. Met Office and other scientific bodies were right to find that there had been no global warming for 17 years....

    his allegation that I had been incorrect was a lie and a deception constituting serious professional misconduct and scientific fraud, or he did not know these things, in which event his presumption of knowledge that he did not in fact possess was also a lie and a deception constituting serious professional misconduct and scientific fraud.

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  41. Phil Shehan, not at all off topic, IMO.  It also shows that when Monckton told a mob in Sydney

    "So to the bogus scientists who have produced the bogus science that invented this bogus scare I say, we are coming after you, we are going to prosecute you and we are going to lock you up!"

    it was not just hyperbole.  Monckton by his actions, and Nova by here approval, show that given the ability, the denier movement will resort to any legal expedient to ensure nobody hears the truth about climate change.

    It may be considered unfair to tarnish all deniers with this brush, but until Watts, the Pielke's, Lindzen etc renounce Monckton and his totalitarian methods and flamboyent disregard for truth, they must be considered to approve of them.  He who remains silent, consents.

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  42. Wide use of surface air temperatures as the primary measure and indicator of global warming is an ongoing communications problem. The excessive focus - it seems to me, even by climate scientists - on a measure that has high levels of internal variability allows and encourages the false perception that anthropogenic global warming is an intermittent phenomena. When the strong desire to find cause to disbelieve science on climate - without the genuine skeptic's desire to be well informed or truthful or fair-minded - the idea that the world is not currently warming gains traction. Measures of heat content such as the graph used clearly show that warming has not slowed or paused and looks like a better representation of the ongoing fundamental change to our climate system - yet it is surface air temperatures, not overall heat content or top of atmosphere changes that get the attention.

    But - how much is the Nuccitelli graph based on direct measurements? Even if the data record for ocean heat content doesn't go back as far as air temperaures accurate data about recent changes to ocean and overall heat content should help to put to rest the "pause in warming" misunderstandings.

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  43. Tom Curtis:  In your reply to my  reference to Lord Monckton's use of the Australian's version of Pachuari's views, you comment on "skeptics" silence on Monckton's views.

    He is indeed too rich for some "skeptics" liking, including Australian Senator Barnaby Joyce and conservative columnist Janet Albrechtsen:

    Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, the eccentric UK climate sceptic, is proving too hot for some of Australia’s most prominent climate sceptics — including Barnaby Joyce.

    Joyce, who famously said that climate change sceptics were being treated like holocaust deniers and likened environmental campaigners to eco-Nazis, believes Monckton is on the fringe of the debate and unhelpful to those who question human induced climate change...

    On Wednesday conservative columnist Janet Albrechtsen in The Australian wrote that Monckton was an extremist in his language and is hurting the cause of those who want to ask hard questions of the science.

    Read more:



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  44. Ken @92 - our data are based entirely on measurements.  Ocean heat content was measured by expendable bathythermographs before the ARGO network was built.  The data are sparser in the past, particularly for the deeper ocean layers, but the data exist nonetheless.

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  45. Thanks Dana. It looks to me that variability even year to year is absent - smoothed data or is the heat gain actually approaching continuous? To my mind this or similar graphs ought to be amongst the first referred to whenever a climate scientist is asked whether warming has paused, slowed or is not statistically signifant over the past x no. of years. Even before referring to Foster and Rahmstorf's adjusted temperature - or the visually compelling variation used by Kevin C 

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  46. Just  a clarification of my thoughts and questions @95 (and noting that some of this may cross the off-topic line) - in the absence of something like continuous measurement of energy in and energy out at the top of atmosphere, it looks important to have of some kind of reference measure that can be used to communicate the ongoing change to the heat balance of the planet. One that, unlike the average surface air temperature, reflects that ongoing nature of that change with a minimum of the year to year, decade to decade variability. 

     The excessive focus on surface air temperatures may be an accident of history - it's what we have measured for the longest and it relates directly to how people experience weather and climate - but surface air temperature is a consequence of the complex ways that heat is distributed and moves, not a direct measure of underlying change. 

    The kind of graph of heat content used in this post looks to me to be a more suitable defining measure and my question, rephrased might be how much variability is there in these combined measures of heat content? When ocean heat content dips or rises, does the land, ice and atmosphere heat content rise or dip to reflect that it's a change of energy distribution rather than of change in the top of atmosphere energy in/out balance? Or, put another way, how short a period to get a statistically significant trend? Less than 5 years?

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  47. Ken in Oz @96

    Comparing the uncertainties of surface temperature records with OHC records does show OHC as now providing the more sensitive measure of AGW (although they do measue different things, ΔOHC being a function of the forcing imbalance while Δtemp is the outcome of forcings as they become balanced).

    Surface temperature records (HadCRUT3 monthly data for instance) has measurement uncertainty of about +/- 0.2º C, the same order of magnitude as a decade of temperature increase. And wobbles in the monthly averages can be 0.5º C, equal to a multi-decadal rise.

    The recent 0-2000m OHC ARGO measurement uncertainty is shown as +/- 0.5 e22 J, the order of magnitude of an annual increase, with big wobbles in quarterly data of 3 e22 J, far less than a decadal increase.
    Of course the ocean extends below 2000m but figures quoted for the abyssal annual ΔOHC (=0.15 +/- 0.10 e22 J) show there would be little difference to that OHC/ST relative accuracy.

    So OHC should be able to show variations in the forcing imbalance over period far shorter than a decade. Less than 5 years?  Probably yes.

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  48. The final link @97 should have been to (see table on page 8).

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  49. Murdoch's take on the subject requires<a href=""> a new approach to the carbon cycle as we know it </a>

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